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The rescue of a 17-year-old girl from her stepfather whose name was given as Sunday Ezeh, who allegedly tied her hands and feet, and locked her up for a month has been confirmed by the Anambra State Ministry of Women and Social Welfare.
The state Commissioner for the Ministry, Ify Obinabo, while confirming the incident to newsmen on Tuesday, described the girl, who hailed from the Nise community, in the Awka South Local Government Area of the state, as a stepdaughter of the suspect.
Obinabo revealed that she took the girl to Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, for medical diagnosis and treatment.
The commissioner also noted that some indigenes of the community informed the ministry about Ezeh’s action, adding that the indigenes said the suspect was a traditionalist.
Obinabo said, ‘Due to the sensitivity of the case, the ministry collaborated with the local vigilante to rescue the girl and apprehend the accused before handing him over to the police.
‘The girl sustained injuries in all parts of her body and as a result was billed for emergency surgery in the head. The surgery was successful and she is recuperating at the paediatric ward of the teaching hospital.’
The commissioner reiterated that the state had zero tolerance for crime of any nature or abuse against children, adding that offenders would be made to face the wrath of the law.
She said the case had been transferred to the Anambra State Police Command for further investigation.
Narrating her ordeal, the victim said she did not know her exact offence, adding that her stepfather locked her up and starved her as punishment.
She said, ‘I cannot remember what I did wrong but my father told me I messed up the compound with my poo and that beating me and locking me up without food was my punishment.
‘He used a Bamboo plank to hit my head which was why I had a head injury. People around saw the way he was beating me and came to my rescue.’
Meanwhile, Ezeh said he punished the victim for disobeying him and for desecrating his compound with poo.